Many of you had your memories jogged by the Lake Highlands High School traditions mentioned in last month’s column. Several people talked to me about Zeke’s House, the Senior Men’s Campout, and the Flag Hangers. But most people preferred to remain anonymous.
“Did you know they blew up Zeke’s house,” one ’75 Lake Highlands graduate asked me during a professional meeting I attended? “They used real explosives.”
The small structure located at the south entrance to the student parking lot took a lot of abuse in the past. That must be why it’s constructed the way it is now – Fort Knox walls and a steel door!
“They?” I replied. “Do you know about this from personal experience?”
He didn’t want his name used.
Please send some information about the original “Zeke.” My son and other high school students refer to the individuals who perform parking lot security functions today as “Zekes,” but whatever happened to the actual gentleman?
The Senior’s Men’s Campout was held during a selected week of the school year.
Participants ignited a big bonfire and maintained a stock of appropriate party supplies. Campers attended school during the day in their smoky, dirty camping attire and returned to the campsites afterwards. Occasionally, the festivities were interrupted by a raid perpetrated by neighboring schools – Bryan Adams was one of the biggest culprits.
The campout was held at several sites. The earliest events were staged in the wilderness area across from what is now Lake Highlands Junior High (the original Lake Highlands High School).
Imagine a Lake Highlands setting before Bethany Lutheran Church, and when Dentport, Chesterton and Mapleridge streets on the west side of Ferndale were only woods, creeks and pastures. It made for a great camping atmosphere.
Later spots for the Senior Men’s Campout included the area across the railroad tracks from the high school – there were no apartments along Skillman. A favorite activity was alleged to be pelting passing locomotives with eggs.
Colby Jones ’75 was reading about the forgotten traditions and remembered an incident from the mid-‘70s. He wrote to me at the Advocate about how each year, students from the high school (back then it was members of the Drama Club and the Soccer team) helped set up the Trail of Terror at the Halloween carnival, an event held each October at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center.
Once, the day after the event, the building caretaker arrived to discover a complete human skeleton casually resting outside the front door. Nobody ever confessed to liberating the dry bones from a biology classroom across the street.
I’m sure Lake Highlands residents Gene and Mary Goad are proud of their children. Kim Goad ’76 is a senior editor with D Magazine, and another daughter, Stacia ’78, an actress, was recently in the Broadway show “Starlight Express.” Gene’s on the mend following some major surgery, and we’re glad to see him doing better.
Brad Barlow ’73, told me that both his brother and sister are living in Tyler and doing well. Rick Barlow ’85 is working at the ABC affiliate, Channel 7, and sister Becky Barlow Moffatt ’71 is a crime analyst with the Tyler Police Department.
Please send news and information you’ve heard about Lake Highlands High School graduates or LH residents to me at the spots below.